My Favorite Magic Books: Mike Pisciotta
By Alex Robertson - Thursday, April 22, 2021
We asked some of the best known magicians in the world what their favorite magic books were, this week is the turn of Mike Pisciotta. You may know Mike from his residency at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, or from winning the "Close-Up Magician of the Year" award for the Academy of Magical Arts... twice! Over to Mike: .
This is an extremely difficult question for me. How could I possibly narrow it down to only three magic books? After all, I wasn’t a video guy when I was coming up, I’m a book guy. I decided to look at this as though one of my young sons wanted to become a magician and I could only pass on three of my favorite books to him.
My first choice would have to be Expert Card Technique by Jean Hugard and Frederick Brauè. I’ve always said if you wanted to be a card magician and had no other books, this is the one you should get. It covers all the basics plus it’s full of solid, hard hitting routines. I think a lot of card magicians might say to read Erdnase, but this is like an updated version of that plus you also get all that mostly uncredited Charlie Miller material. It’s an easy read and you won’t have to struggle with antiquated language or techniques.
With my second choice I’m going to take some liberties and recommend a set of two books as one. The Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder. Not only was Tommy a brilliant magician and performer but these books are full of theory and lessons in performing to apply to your own magic. Tommy often took a layered approach to his methods and understanding his way of thinking and his effect construction is invaluable, even if you don’t do any of the effects in the books. A perfect example of this is his version of The Ring, the Watch and the Wallet. It’s so well thought out and clean that the spectators don’t even stand a chance. All other versions and methods pale in comparison.
Last but not least I would have to go with Greater Magic by John Northern Hilliard. At over 1,000 pages this amazing tome covers all types of conjuring from close-up, mentalism, apparatus magic, stage magic and manipulation. Although some of the material might seem a bit dated today, much of it is still workable as is and the rest can be studied and updated. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, beginner or advanced, Greater Magic has something for you.
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